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Life-changing books: Recommendations from 17 leading scientists April 24, 2008

Posted by sneaks in adult, nonfiction.
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From New Scientist magazine, here’s a fascinating list (click each title for details) of “books that have left a lasting impression on some of the world’s top scientists, including Oliver Sacks, Michio Kaku, Jane Goodall, and more.”

1. Farthest North – Steve Jones, geneticist

2. The Art of the Soluble – V. S. Ramachandran, neuroscientist

3. Animal Liberation – Jane Goodall, primatologist

4. The Foundation trilogy – Michio Kaku, theoretical physicist

5. Alice in Wonderland – Alison Gopnik, developmental psychologist

6. One, Two, Three… Infinity – Sean Carroll, theoretical physicist

7. The Idea of a Social Science – Harry Collins, sociologist of science

8. Handbook of Mathematical Functions – Peter Atkins, chemist

9. The Mind of a Mnemonist – Oliver Sacks, neurologist

10. A Mathematician’s Apology – Marcus du Sautoy, mathematician

11. The Leopard – Susan Greenfield, neurophysiologist

12. Darwin and the Emergence of Evolutionary Theories of Mind and Behavior – Frans de Waal, psychologist and ethologist

13. Catch-22 / The First Three Minutes – Lawrence Krauss, physicist

14. William James, Writings 1878-1910 – Daniel Everett, linguist

15. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep – Chris Frith, neuroscientist

16. The Naked Ape – Elaine Morgan, author of The Aquatic Ape Hypothesis

17. King Solomon’s Ring – Marian Stamp Dawkins, Zoologist


I helped my mom… @ the library! April 24, 2008

Posted by sneaks in display topics, spring.
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Help a mom save money on Mother’s Day. The Social Security Administration is asking libraries to publicize the extra help that is available under Medicare Part D. This year’s message is “I helped my mom save $3,600 on prescription drugs. You Can Too!” 

Libraries can help in this effort by referring to this Social Security page in your newsletters, blogs, or websites.

Social Security also has a Mother’s Day pamphlet available upon request in packets of 100, free of charge, for display and distribution at libraries. Contact Maria Artista-Cuchna with your name, mailing address, phone number, and quantity you need.

New music spotlight April 19, 2008

Posted by sneaks in CDs.
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Does your branch pay much attention to merchandizing CDs? Many don’t – popular CDs circulate pretty well without our help. But are all segments of the library user population aware of what we have to offer? Specifically, do teens take advantage of our CD collection?

Many radio stations post their playlists online. For new alternative music, go to WTMD’s Playlist Guide and select New Release Show from the pull-down menu at the top. For hip-hop and R&B, try 92Q‘s playlist. And nobody says you can’t keep an eye on who’s playing local venues such as Ram’s Head Live!, the Recher Theater, and the 8×10. Alternatively, find that CA on your staff who lives for music, and ask him or her to pick some new CDs to spotlight.

Ladies First April 19, 2008

Posted by sneaks in adult, nonfiction.
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Mrs. Calvin Coolidge, John Coolidge, and Mrs. Herbert Hoover sitting in the yard of a house. Chicago Daily News, Inc., photographer. 1928. DN-0085098A, Chicago Daily News negatives collection, Chicago Historical Society.

Dear First Lady: Letters to the White House is soon to arrive at BCPL. The book’s author, Dwight Young, has been making the rounds, and was recently featured on NPR.

What a terrific reason to make a display highlighting America’s First Ladies, from Martha Washington to Laura Bush. It can be tough to get at these in CARL, so print this list of presidents in alphabetical order, to make your stroll through Biography a little easier.


Loch Ness literature April 19, 2008

Posted by sneaks in display topics, E, J fiction, J is for Juvenile, J non-fiction, spring.
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New on DVD this week: The Water Horse, a family movie featuring the Loch Ness Monster, based on a book by Dick King-Smith.

You might take this opportunity to pull a selection of Dick King-Smith’s books (including Babe, the Gallant Pig, the basis for the movie Babe)… or a selection of books about cryptozoology – the study of mythical(?) creatures such as the yeti, Sasquatch, the Loch Ness Monster, mokele-mbembe, etc.

A CARL search on “loch ness,” cryptozoology, or monsters will bring up plenty. Don’t forget Roland Smith’s Cryptid Hunters and Alice Flaherty’s fun picture book The Luck of the Loch Ness Monster.

Tour du Pope April 13, 2008

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Pope Benedict XVI touches down in the U.S. on Tuesday for a five-day visit. Take advantage of the media attention and pull a few books on Catholicism and spirituality in general. Some suggestions when you click “more”.


Drop Everything and READ! April 9, 2008

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April 12 (Beverly Cleary’s birthday) is National Drop Everything and Read day.

From the website:

When is National D.E.A.R. Day?
The National D.E.A.R. Day partners are marking the birthday of beloved author Beverly Cleary as the official event date, April 12th. Ramona Quimby, who was in charge of spreading the word about National D.E.A.R. Day last year, is relinquishing the National Spokesperson role in 2007 to actress Emma Roberts, star of Nickelodeon’s Unfabulous and the upcoming Nancy Drew movie.

Why is National D.E.A.R. Day celebrated on Beverly Cleary’s birthday?
Beverly Cleary receives thousands of letters a year from young readers, many who have participated in D.E.A.R. at school. Their interest in and enthusiasm for this special reading activity inspired Mrs. Cleary to give the same experience to Ramona Quimby, who gets to enjoy D.E.A.R. time with the rest of her class in Ramona Quimby, Age 8.

How Can I Participate?
Schools, libraries, bookstores and other organizations are being asked to host Drop Everything and Read events on April 12. You can attend an event in your community or participate right in your own home by reading for 30 minutes!

Go green! April 8, 2008

Posted by sneaks in display topics, spring.
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Columbine about to unfurl

Spring is a great time to be outside, to enjoy the gifts of Mother Nature, and to try to give back a little something. That’s what Baltimore Green Week (PDF) is all about:

Baltimore Green Week – April 25th to May 2nd – is a weeklong program comprised of community events, forums, lectures, hands-on activities and the EcoFestival – all which focus on greening and the value of a sustainable lifestyle. Through our events we seek to increase awareness about how local residents can make the Baltimore region environmentally friendly for all who live and work here. Our mission is to further the voice of organizations that promote a healthy living environment. This year marks the fifth year of Baltimore Green Week (BGW). In 2007, over 5000 people attended BGW events. Started by regional volunteers, Baltimore Green Week remains a
volunteer-driven event.

Gardening books, ecology books, books about conservation and pollution, plus beautiful books of landscape photography might make for a glowing green display in support of this regional program.

Cherry Blossom Sky April 8, 2008

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Cherry Blossom Sky

Originally uploaded by lejson

Sakura Matsuri, aka Cherry Blossom Festival, is just about upon us. In Washington, D.C., it runs from March 29 through April 13, with “the largest Japanese festival outside of Japan” on Saturday, April 12.

In Japan, early spring is graduation time. It’s a very important rite of passage in Japan, and so the first flush of blooms on the cherry trees signals a time of nostalgia and sentimentality. People visit their old schools and picnic under the cherry trees. The cherry blossoms are also considered the symbol of a life lived fully, no matter how short.

You can participate in this gorgeous natural display online by visiting the blossom maps at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden or the National Park Service. Or make the drive down to D.C. to experience the magic in person.

In your library, it’s a good time to celebrate all things Japanese, as well as books on Asian gardens and flowering trees.

Here are cherry blossom coloring pages:

Strictly ballroom April 8, 2008

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The gowns! The grace! The melodrama! I can’t help myself – when it comes to ballroom dance, it’s all about the exclamation marks!

This year’s National DanceSport Championships took place RIGHT HERE IN BALTIMORE at the Renaissance Harborplace Hotel, April 4th – 6th 2008! And we MISSED IT! I’m so sorry! I was out of town! *sob!*

It’s not too late, though, to take advantage of the interest stirred up by the competition and by the popular Dancing with the Stars show. Pull your dance DVDs into a tiny little glittering display, scatter some ostrich feathers around, et voila! Instant dance floor drama!

Shiny tidbits of news April 1, 2008

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Culled from AL Direct and Booklist online, here’s the library and book news that caught our eye this week.

A better way to buy books online – BetterWorld collects library discards, sells them online through Amazon, Half.com, and their own website, and a percentage of the proceeds is returned to the library. Another percentage is donated to literacy programs around the world.

This sounds like good news: OverDrive is now offering DRM-free MP3 files for download: finally, books from the library on your iPod!

Is it Gay-man or Guy-man? Now you can hear it from the horse’s mouth! Teachingbooks.net offers brief recordings of Neil Gaiman and hundreds of other authors and illustrators saying “Hello, my name is __________“.

As reported in The New York Times, more and more magazines are putting their back catalogs online, for free. So while the EBSCO database may have TIME magazine back to 1984, the magazine’s website serves up every issue from 1923 on. CQ, Sports Illustrated, Harpers, and other useful magazines have done it too. So if you can’t find it in EBSCO, try going to the source.

For kids: talk about your favorite book, win prizes! The Storytubes contest encourages kids to make a short video about a favorite book, upload the video to YouTube, and send the link to Storytubes to be entered in their contest. Lots of nice prizes, and I can’t wait to watch some of the videos.